WREXHAM MP Sarath Atherton has praised the Chancellor’s budget today after the announcement that Wrexham will receive a ‘boost’ from UK Government.

The funding package announced in the Budget includes an acceleration of the North Wales Growth Deal, which will see North Wales receive an extra £4.4 million per year from 2021/22 for the remaining nine years of the deal.

The deal will create up to 3,800 new jobs and support an uplift of £2.2 billion for the regional economy.

In Wrexham, the Growth Deal also includes £9.1 million of investment for the Gateway project, a long-term development scheme to create an eco-business park, new housing and improved local infrastructure.

As well as this, the Levelling-Up Fund has also been recently extended to Wales, which will provide additional funding to local communities for local projects.

The Community Ownership Fund, announced today by the Chancellor, will provide £150 million to help communities across then whole of the UK buy local assets such as pubs, sports clubs and theatres.

The Chancellor also announced that the Furlough Scheme would be extended until September, with a corresponding lengthening of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, a continuation of the reduction in VAT to 5 per cent for hospitality until 30th September 2021, the freezing of Fuel Duty for the tenth year, and a halt to the planned increases in Alcohol Duties.

Commenting, Ms Atherton said: “I welcome the boost to Wrexham and North Wales that the Chancellor’s announcements will provide by supporting jobs and the economy as we move out of these current restrictions.

"Indeed, these measures also show that the UK Government has North Wales at the heart of its agenda and is leading the way in Wales on delivering for local communities.

“I am also pleased with the support the Budget announced for the pubs and brewery sector.

"Given the correspondence I have received during the pandemic, and as a former brewer myself, I fully understand how important this sector is to Wrexham.

"As such, I hope that the measures announced, such as the freeze in Beer Duty and the continued VAT reduction, will be welcomed by many across the town.”

Furthermore, during Prime Minister’s Questions immediately before the Chancellor laid out the budget, Ms Atherton asked the Prime Minister to back her in promoting jobs in STEM and health care sectors in Wrexham.

She noted that the success of the vaccine rollout programme, and the role Wrexham has played in it, coupled with Wrexham’s existing infrastructure like the Wrexham Maelor, Glyndwr University and the Industrial Estate, should inspire young people in the town to take up further study and careers in the STEM and health care sectors.

In response, the Prime Minister thanked Ms Atherton for her work in the Wrexham Maelor during the pandemic and he supported her wish to see more young people go into STEM and healthcare careers.

He also reminisced on his visit to Wockhardt last year, where he said he was inspired by the work of a young female scientist who was part of the team leading the way on the vaccine production.